we woke up early and loaded the truck. had a last minute breakfast at the casa de hotcakes and hit the road. on the drive to vallarta we chose to travel along the main route. it was beautiful, lots of stunning views of dormant volcanos and lush hills and pretty little valleys full of corn or banana trees. on the way home we wanted to try the road less traveled. while it was quite stunning - the pine forests amd cool air made you forget that you were in the middle of mexico, the road was insanely twisty with steep cliffs and no guard rails. it made folks a little nervous. we passed through the town of mascota and was reminded that we were deep in the heart of mexico. the sleepy sunday town was full of picturesque alleys, dilapidated buildings, and cathedrals. we had the chance to explore the ruins of one of the cathedrals and got a lot of pictures. no one else was there but us and the lizards. even with the trecherous roads, it was worth the drive. it's a little hard to describe the countryside there. it's almost like a perfect, fictionalized west. we saw some cowboys and old men with burros laden with firewood, mesquite and scrub oak. makes you want to sleep under the stars and make coffee over roaring fire and listen to the coyotes cry you to sleep. that evening we pulled into ajijic totally exhausted. the folks had reserved us some rooms at a quiet little b&b and we settled in nicely. in the morning we woke to a new sound - for almost three months in vallarta we were woken by barking dogs. on this morning it was birds. the b&b had seperate little houses in a jungly yard that was filled with lush gardens. now we have a day to shop in tonala and visit with my grandpa and then it's off to guanajuato.
mascota cathedral ruins
mascota new cathedral
cowboys (yes those trees are purple)
blue agave = tequila!